Investor targeting has changed in recent years. Increasingly, shareholders are proposing changes to companies that do not affect the actual business, but rather environmental compatibility, social benefits and management styles. Most of the proposals went to large cap companies, but smaller public companies should also address the issue if they want to improve their investor relations.
In the past, the practices of large companies have always been a good harbinger of what might come to smaller companies that traditionally change more slowly. Many large companies have taken steps in recent years to increase the number of women in management positions and to make the workforce more diverse in general.
However, as these concerns are driven less by market conditions than by the wishes and demands of investors, this trend should have less of an impact on small businesses as they are less dependent on the same investors. Nevertheless, smaller companies should also look at the opportunities and risks of the environment, social issues and leadership, as customers are also more critical of their product and brand choices. Smaller companies can also profit financially in the future from a good positioning in these three areas.